Unity Theatre in Liverpool offers glimpse of its redevelopment
City centre venue’s £845,000 revamp aims to transform the front of house spaces, and enable the theatre to be more environmentally and financially sustainable. Tony McDonough reports.
Liverpool’s Unity Theatre has released images offering a glimpse of its £845,000 redevelopment project will look when completed.
The city centre theatre has worked with Liverpool-based architects K2 and contractors and social enterprise Vivark on the Build Unity Better scheme.
Its aim is to transform the front of house spaces, and enable the theatre to be more environmentally and financially sustainable.
Throughout its history, Unity Theatre has been a home for high-quality, radical theatre, making a vital contribution to Liverpool’s reputation as a word-class theatre city.
The redevelopment work will make it possible for even more talented artists and theatre companies to present work in the city.
The images show major changes to the entrance and façade of the theatre and former synagogue, and reveal how the first floor will be opened up and reconfigured.
They reveal that the building, which was previously only accessible via a ramp that led to a side entrance, will now have a new front door, opening straight onto the street.
Chief executive and artistic director, Matthew Linley, said: “This new front door is not just a front door. It’s a really visible symbol of what we want to achieve with Build Unity Better.
“We want to be able to welcome more audiences and more artists. This significant change will help us say ‘we’re a public building – this is your space’”
The redevelopment will also see a reconfiguration of the ground floor front-of-house space.
Unity is continuing its fundraising drive to raise a final £50,000 required for fit-out, and will soon launch crowdfunding campaigns promising a series of rewards for donors, including ‘unique money-can’t buy experiences’.
Funders PH Holt Foundation and Garfield Western Foundation have committed £10,000 and £50,000 respectively to the major capital development work, with social enterprise First Ark Group also adding to the project funding.
The funding follows an initial £435,000 investment from Arts Council England, £120,000 from Liverpool City Council, £30,000 from the Granada Foundation and £2000 from the Ravensdale Foundation as well as over £20,000 in individual donations from Unity Theatre supporters.
To find out more about the project click here.